History of FHSSA
The genesis of FHSSA was in the powerful experience US hospice leaders had during a professional seminar tour to hospices in Zimbabwe and South Africa in 1999. This tour made clear the tremendous impact that the burgeoning HIV/AIDS pandemic was having on African hospice leaders and their programs.
To support Africa’s hospice and palliative care programs, Bernice Catherine Harper and US hospice leaders decided to form a non-profit organization that could mobilize US hospice response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa (FHSSA) was incorporated and housed in New York State.
In 2004, FHSSA joined the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in Alexandria, Virginia. As an affiliate of NHPCO, FHSSA is able to connect with membership and expand its impact in both the US and Africa.
Since the organization’s inception, the acronym used as shorthand for the long name was “FHSSA” (pronounced Fa-sha). In 2010, we officially changed our name to “FHSSA”.
As a partnering organization, FHSSA is unique in that it initiates, maintains and sustains active relationships between frontline organizations in Africa and the United States. These relationships provide a clear, practical understanding of the need, and the environment in which the work is done.
Together with their African partners, American hospices have learned much about cultural diversity, community bereavement, defining palliative care, health disparities, volunteer engagement, community linkages, and other essential aspects of hospice operations in the US. Meaningful Partnerships take on limitless forms, linking African hospices not only with US hospice organizations, but also with government and private grant making entities as well as US universities and other organizations who share in FHSSA’s mission.
Learn more about FHSSA’s Decade of Impact.